ConocoPhillips Says 'Vast New Areas' Needed To Meet Growing Demand

Company says by 2030 they would need to bring online 150 million barrels a day of new production.

To meet a projected 40% growth in demand for oil in just over two decade, ConocoPhillips said June 11 that "vast new areas" will have to be opened. Its CEO James Mulva said: "By 2030 we would have to bring on line 105 million barrels a day of new production. To meet this challenge, vast new areas will need to be opened and explored."

He told the two-day Asia Oil and Gas Conference that: "New technology will be needed to access resources that are in more remote locations, or trapped in unconventional reservoirs."

According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, the world will require 120 million barrels per day by 2030 compared to 85 million currently. The scale of investment required is enormous, Mulva said, noting the IEA had estimated that $20 trillion in cumulative energy investment would be needed through to 2030.

Even so, international oil firms may not be allowed to invest in the right places, he said, adding they are currently unable to gain rights to two-thirds of the world's oil resources. Mulva said the industry is seeking out non-traditional oil suppliers, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, which will lead the demand for oil. By 2030, the region will consume one-third of the world's oil supply but will have less than 5% of global production, he said.

The IEA has projected that the demand for natural gas will grow at an even faster pace than oil, increasing by 66% by 2030. "Regional gas markets are growing and price realizations are rising. These factors now make gas a prime exploration target, instead of merely an adjunct to the search for oil," Mulva said.

The chief executive also said global energy demand growth was unsustainable unless enough resources were committed to overcome environmental concerns over issues such as carbon dioxide emissions.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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